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Everything posted by Kerry1968

  1. I caught the bug in college, via the library's collection of dusty old films. I definitely recall watching Plisetskya in The Little Humpbacked Horse in a little viewing cubicle at the library, with a bulky set of headphones squeezing my head like a vice. The first live performance I saw was San Francisco Ballet in Swan Lake, in either 1987 or 1988.
  2. I saw her (Frances Chung) a couple weeks ago in Raymonda Act II (3rd solo), and did not love her. Same in Symphonic Dances. Plus - I hesitate to mention this - she is far from having the ideal ballerina physique. Maria-Claire D'Lyse was given the first solo in Raymonda, and was also one of the women in Ibsen's House. It was my first look at her - I don't suppose she'll be in the corps for very long.
  3. I saw it today and enjoyed it. The interviews were fun -- e.g. Misty Copeland opining that Nikiya gets what she deserves, etc. At 90 minutes, it does seem kind of short, though.
  4. Me too! I suppose the dancer's grace is "morbid" because the spectator-voyeur's gaze is not returned. The spectator senses the dancer's interior life ("she dances for her own delight"), but he can't enter into it. He experiences the non-return of the gaze as a kind of death. There is a multiplication of images, but not of meaning. Her grace is vague, ambiguous, morbid, because the spectator experiences it as unfathomable. The 2nd poem is also organized around the gaze. However, in this poem the gaze is structured around mutual recognition. The gaze is the site of an animating desire, of performer for spectator, and spectator for audience: "The eyes of all that see / Draw to her glances, stealing fire / From her desire that leaps to my desire." And here I will conclude my amateur attempt at literary criticism
  5. There's actually a very high level of interest in ballet at the moment. It's in part being fueled by social media and especially Youtube - something entirely new and promising. What there doesn't seem to be a lot of at the moment is financial support. Institutions desperately need to find some way of converting the former into the latter. As for the Cold War Years, I think what distinguished that period was the unprecedented manner in which governments (in the USSR, Great Britain, and the US) promoted ballet and put it to the front of national cultural life. The circumstances which led to this were very specific to the Cold War and will probably never be repeated again.
  6. "To a Dancer" by Arthur Symons: Intoxicatingly Her eyes across the footlights gleam, (The wine of love, the wine of dream) Her eyes, that gleam for me! The eyes of all that see Draw to her glances, stealing fire From her desire that leaps to my desire; Her eyes that gleam for me! Subtly, deliciously, A quickening fire within me, beat The rhythms of her poising feet; Her feet that poise to me! Her body's melody, In silent waves of wandering sound, Thrills to the sense of all around, Yet thrills alone for me! And oh, intoxicatingly, When, at the magic moment's close, She dies into the rapture of repose, Her eyes that gleam for me!
  7. My favorite poem about dance is Arthur Symons's impressionistic La Mélinite: . Alone, apart, one dancer watches Her mirrored, morbid grace; Before the mirror, face to face, Alone she watches Her morbid, vague, ambiguous grace. Before the mirror's dance of shadows She dances in a dream, And she and they together seem A dance of shadows; Alike the shadows of a dream. The orange-rosy lamps are trembling Between the robes that turn; In ruddy flowers of flame that burn The lights are trembling: The shadows and the dancers turn. And, enigmatically smiling, In the mysterious night, She dances for her own delight, A shadow smiling Back to a shadow in the night.
  8. I'd love to hear other people's opinions on these questions. Does the presence of so many Asian and Brazilian dancers at competitions like YAGP and Prix de Lausanne say anything about where the art is heading? Is it a fair inference to say that the training outside of Europe and America is approaching the standards of European and American schools? Has ballet taken root in Asia (as measured by public interest, and financially secure companies), or is the goal of Asian dancers to win a scholarship at a competition, complete their training in Europe or America, and get a job with a European or American company? Will ballet globalization create a market for a homogenized and commodified style of dance, free of regional flavor? Will globalization necessarily wreck ballet, by flattening style and repertoire, or can it be a source of renewal? I hope these questions aren't very ignorant. These things have been churning in my brain for many years, and I don't know where to look for answers.: PS. Did I post this thread in the wrong place?
  9. I couldn't help but notice that awards are given for puppetry. Are puppet plays in Russia major productions? I really am curious about this. Sadly, my exposure to puppetry is limited to Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.
  10. I have a few pairs of signed shoes: Veronika Part, Megan Fairchild, Misa Kuranaga, and Whitney Jensen. I keep them at my office, not in a display case but on top of a cabinet, where people can see them and even handle them if they want to. Some people think they are gross. They don't smell but they are dirty and worn. My boss calls them my "creepy shoes." On the other hand, some of my women colleagues are fascinated by them and have even tried them on,
  11. In Hawaii (where I live), we've got to wait till 3/24/2013 to see this. Ouch
  12. Romanticism in literature, the visual arts, and music is a very different thing than Romanticism in ballet. Many of the central figures in English and German Romanticism (Beethoven, Holderlin, Hegel, and Worthsworth all born 1770) came of age during the Revolution, and had republican sympathies, Romantic ballet is a much later thing (1830s and 40s), less radical and less republican. It borrows lots of visual and thematic elements from the earlier literary movements (medieval and nocturnal settings, an interest in morbid psychological states, etc), but in the end Giselle instructs Albrect to return to Bathilde.
  13. How beautiful! Unfortunately, my home town theater was a concrete box
  14. I've spent a considerable amount of time studying this issue, and I've come to the inexorable conclusion that THIS is greatest movie star of them all!
  15. More gender-bending from the 2009 World Ballet Festival. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7KfL7jcO1I
  16. I enjoyed it! I bought this DVD a while back, loving both Bessmertnova and Les Sylphides. Unfortunately, the picture quality is quite poor (blurry, washed-out), and the disc only contains Les Sylphides and some previews from two other VIEW videos. Even with those caveats, I still watch it fairly regularly, not needing the inducement of rain even!
  17. I did enjoy it. I also enjoyed the Four Swan Queens extra feature. I wanted Nunez to say more about how the Argentinian production differed from the RB's,
  18. Korea, China, and Japan, if one goes by what is happening at the international ballet competitions.
  19. "Beauty is paramount. One mustn’t mix sport with ballet."
  20. In a podcast on iTunes U, Joan Acocella commented that Diana Adams would have been regarded as "a freak" by ballet audiences of the 19th Century. She was commenting on the very great changes in the ballerina's physique which have occurred over the last century. This got me to wondering if those physical changes won't continue on and on. There's no reason to suppose that evolution stops with Sylvie Guillem (or is there?). And so I'd like to pose this completely hypothetical question: what will the ideal ballerina body be in fifty years? And, from our present day perspective, will the ballerinas of the future be "freaks"?
  21. This discussion puts me in mind of something Fokine wrote: Should mime be retained even when it communicates no important information? Or is the beauty of the gestures, when performed well, sufficient justification for keeping it around? Souce: Beaumont, Cyril. Michel Fokine and His Ballets. London: Dance Books, 1935.
  22. Your panegyric deserves more responses, so I'll chime in here (although I am certainly no ballet critic). I've only ever seen Marianela Nuñez on an LCD monitor, but have most of her commercially available stuff on DVD, excepting Swan Lake, because I couldn't visualize Nuñez as the sad Odette. After reading your post, SL has been added to my Amazon basket Anyway, to go through the list: loved her as Gamzatti, Lise & Lilac Fairy. Not so crazy about her Myrtha, which seems more like a flesh-and-blood creature than a malevolent spirit. Igone de Jongh, on the other hand, is a terrifying Myrtha, because there's nothing human-seeming about her. Marie-Agnes Gillot and Tatiana Terekhova are different, but I also find myself believing in their Wilihood. Nuñez lacks a certain elusive Wili magic.
  23. The geography is kind of weird. In episode 4 Fanny says that Ojai is "that slum" 30 miles to the north. In the same episode, Fanny and Michelle visit Oxnard (also to the north of Paradise). There are passing references to other southern California towns (Montecito, Carpinteria). Culturally, Paradise reminds me vaguely of a town like Carpinteria, although the geographic hints would place Paradise closer to Point Mugu. I know this area pretty well, having lived in Santa Barbara for many years. TBH, these beach towns are not terribly diverse, if by diverse one means having significant numbers of African American families. Ventura County as a whole is about 2 percent African American. So I would agree that the demographics are accurately portrayed.
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